The Bible in World History by Dr. Stephen Leston is an illustrated book about Bible events and the world surrounding them. The chief question asked in the introduction is: “Where is history headed?” The author has a biblical perspective and answers this question by using Revelation chapters 19 through 21, saying that, ultimately, history will lead us to “a new world where God will establish His kingdom among people.”
Dr. Leston uses two things to support his theory. He frequently uses Bible verses, connecting them accurately to historical events, and then he uses those connections to show how God shapes the world to fulfill his divine will. Leston writes in a style similar to the stereotypical history textbook. Thankfully, he does make clear points and explains his thoughts better than some textbooks. But, overall, his style is rather academic. The book has many illustrations, though sometimes they do not correspond directly with the content of the page and can be distracting. Dr. Leston is qualified to write this book because he is a pastor, holds a doctorate, and has contributed to several Bible commentary books.
The author steps through biblical and world events from Creation to the downfall of the Roman Empire. Throughout these events, Leston uses Bible verses to connect world events with biblical references. One particular example of this is how he shows how one Babylonian king corresponds to a king mentioned in the Bible, even though they are known by different names. He emphasizes how God seems to balance world powers, by observing how the empires of the ancient world rose and declined. Leston says that “one thing we learn from scriptures is that God is ultimately the one who elevates and deposes kings and kingdoms” (see Daniel 2:21). He uses these things to aim the reader toward a realization that someday Jesus will replace the governments of the world.
Though well researched and illuminating in some areas, I was expecting the author to tie in Bible predictions to the entire globe; when he leaves his area of expertise (the ancient Middle East), he fails to connect other worldwide events to theology. Still, he does manage to make his points convincing, and his use of the Bible is clever in the fact that he manages to balance his own opinions with support from the Bible verses. Leston’s strengths are in his knowledge of history and the Bible, not in his writing delivery. I think this book would be fitting for a church library and for adults interested specifically in biblical history. It's accurate and deep, but very slow reading. – Joshua Spotts, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
What was happening outside Bible lands during the time of the patriarchs, Jewish kingdoms, the prophets, Jesus’ ministry, and the early church? Find out with The Bible in World History. This brand-new, fully illustrated reference breaks biblical and early church history into eight major time periods—from “Creation to the Tower of Babel” through “Anno Domini,” the years from Jesus’ birth to about AD 330—and shows what was happening in other parts of the world during those times. With references to Chinese, Indian, African, and Mayan cultures, among others, The Bible in World History will help you see how history and scripture intersect.